Softball team climbing high

LYNDEN — Softball is King in Port Angeles. Or is it Queen?

The third Port Angeles Junior Babe Ruth softball team qualified for the regional championships by breezing through the 12-under state tournament this past weekend.

North Olympic went 7-0 in the 14-team competition by beating Ellensburg twice Sunday.

Port Angeles beat Ellensburg 5-0 in a one-hitter in the semifinals and came back and defeated the same team 10-2 in the state championship game.

The Port Angeles 14-under softball team won state Saturday in a three-team tournament at Lynden while the 16-under squad qualified straight to regionals without having to play in a state tournament.

Port Angeles softball on any level did not lose a state game.

Regionals for all three teams will start this week in Meridian, Idaho. Opening ceremonies are Wednesday with play starting Thursday.

Meanwhile, the 12-year-olds gave up just four runs in seven games in dominating their state tournament.

“We did pretty well at state,” Port Angeles manager Brian Dills said.

Dills said he was not surprised this team qualified for regionals. This is the first time this particular group of players will be competing at the regional level.

“They’re just a good group of kids,” Dill said.

“Most of our games only went four innings [because of the 10-run mercy rule], we have 14 kids on the roster, so a lot of them didn’t get a lot of playing time.

“But everyone pulled for everybody else. They were cheering on whoever was out there. You can’t get a better group of kids.”

Bailey Dill started on the mound in both games Sunday and Rachel Eastey came on in relief in both contests. The two were used that way in all seven games of the tournament.

Bailey Dill gave up no hits in four innings in the first game, a 5-0 shutout in the semifinals, while Eastey allowed just one hit in two innings.

Tori Kuch had an RBI-double while Eastey had an RBI-single and RBI-sacrifice bunt.

Sarah Steinman, who produced a grand slam in the tourney, had a double in the first game.

Bailey Dills and Eastey allowed just one earned run in the championship game with Dills tossing a no-hitter in five innings and Eastey finishing up in the sixth and final inning.

Ellensburg and Mount Baker also earned regional berths.

Brian Dills is expecting a tough regional tournament.

“Ellensburg will be there and they gave us some tight games,” he said.

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